Posts Tagged ‘Desserts’

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Monday, May 5th, 2014

From our food contributor, Shaina Olmanson.

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bar #recipe via MomAdvice.com
Strawberry season where I live comes late. We wait until June, patiently watching as the tufts of green leaves poke through the dirt and then expand. Little white flowers with soft petals and fuzzy yellow centers come next, singing in the May breeze.

When the berries finally arrive there is a fevered rush to fill as many flats as possible with sun-warmed berries. I enlist my kids as field workers, promising them they can eat the literal fruits of their labor. We spend early mornings on our knees between the rows of fragrant plants, lifting leaves to find the glistening reward beneath.

As we carry our prizes home, I make lists of all the things to do with them. I clean and freeze as many as possible for use in smoothies. I make a few jars of jam to get us through the next year. Sometimes I make a few varieties, combining spring berry and rhubarb or vanilla beans before tucking them away on a shelf. I stuff several heaping cups of berries in between pastry crust and freeze those, too, to be pulled out after the berries are long gone. Plenty are eaten straight from the flat, still warm from being on the plant in the sun. Still others get made into sauce or baked into doughnuts or stirred into muffin mix.
Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bar #recipe via MomAdvice.com

Before I know it, strawberry season has come and gone, and I am left waiting for it to appear again. The fleeting weeks in June that always signaled the true beginning of my Midwestern summer.

Cheesecake is a family favorite, requested for birthdays and family gatherings. Here it gets a bit of swirl treatment over the top and is baked into bars. Cheesecake bars are great for swirling strawberries because the low profile means more berry-to-cheese ratios without having to add it directly to the center, and this dessert that usually requires a fork becomes finger food at backyard barbecues.

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 20
 
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1⅔ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup arrowroot
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup cream
For the strawberry swirl:
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and the granulated sugar. Add in the melted butter and stir to combine until all the crumbs are coated and moist.
  3. Pour the crumbs into a 9x13" cake pan. Using your hand or the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass, press the crumbs tightly into the pan to cover the bottom evenly.
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the sugar and arrowroot powder until thick and creamy. Then add the vanilla and eggs, beating after each egg until incorporated. Stir in the cream.
  5. Pour the mix into the crust and use a spatula to spread it evenly.
  6. In a medium saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and water. Simmer over medium-high heat until thick and syrupy. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Spoon tablespoons of strawberry syrup over the cheesecake topping. Using a long skewer or a thin knife, run it through the cake to create swirls. You can make a pattern or swirl it randomly.
  7. Place a baking pan with 2 cups of water in the oven under the cheesecake to create steam. Bake for 55 minutes or until cooked through but still slightly wobbly. Turn the oven off, prop the door open, and allow it to cool slowly.
  8. Transfer the cooled cheesecake from the oven to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

 

Pin It

Einkorn Flour Naturally Sweetened Pumpkin Bars

Monday, February 24th, 2014

From our food contributor, Diana Bauman.

Can I just say that I am humbled that Diana, from My Humble Kitchen, agreed to share her voice on our site? Diana’s food background is so much more diverse than my own and she knows about foods I have never even heard of. Not only that, but her recipes are so very nourishing to our bodies. I cannot wait to learn more about food from her.

Naturally Sweetened, Einkorn Pumpkin Bars | momadvice.com

Hello – what a blessing to be here as part of the MomAdvice contributing team! I’m excited to get to know you all a bit better and feel privileged to be able to share my food recipes with you.

I’m a real foodie at heart… built on grace.  As much as I enjoy serving up my family savory meals using vegetables from my gardens, I also enjoy baking sweet treats made with nourishing ingredients and natural sweeteners.

Naturally Sweetened, Einkorn Pumpkin Bars | momadvice.com

I know Amy has turned to a gluten-free lifestyle, so I thought I’d introduce all of you to an ancient grain that has 3 times less gluten than our modern hybridized wheat of today.

It’s called einkorn. It’s the first grain to have been domesticated from the wild. Its never been hybridized so it was fascinating to me when I found out that many people with a gluten intolerance can tolerate this ancient grain. It still has gluten so if you have celiacs disease, then this is still off limits.

In my research, I’ve also found out that einkorn is more nutritious than modern varieties of wheat. It’s high in thiamin, protein, fiber, and a number of b vitamins. It also contains a significant amount of the the powerful antioxidant, lutein. As compared to modern varieties of wheat, it’s higher in protein and has a lower percentage of nutrient loss during processing.

Since einkorn has a lot less gluten, baking with it can be a bit tricky if grinding your own wheat berries at home; however, I’ve found incredible success using organic high extraction einkorn flour that’s already been milled.

In using einkorn flour, so far, I’ve had great success – all of my baked goods have turned out lovely. I’ve also enjoyed that I’ve been able to substitute it 1:1.

Naturally Sweetened, Einkorn Pumpkin Bars | momadvice.com

To share with all of you, I decided to roast the last of my pumpkins I had stored in my basement and make a batch of naturally sweetened pumpkin bars.

Who says pumpkin bars are just for the fall, right?

No pumpkin? No worries… if you don’t have any pumpkins in your basement or can’t find any at your local grocery store, feel free to use an organic canned variety.

My husband loves it when I surprise him with a batch of pumpkin bars. I sweeten them with honey. The flavors are gently sweetened and allow the flavor of the roasted pumpkin to shine through. The use of the honey makes this an incredibly moist bar that your family will love.

For the cream cheese icing, I add 3 tbls of maple syrup allowing me to cut down on the organic powdered sugar. You’ll never notice the difference.

Naturally Sweetened, Einkorn Pumpkin Bars | momadvice.com Now, let me ask you, what can be better than a nourishing dessert?

Naturally Sweetened, Einkorn Pumpkin Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8-10
 
Einkorn pumpkin bars are a completely nourishing dessert make with the ancient grain einkorn and gently sweetened with honey.
Ingredients
For the Pumpkin Bars
  • 2 cups einkorn flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground all spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1½ cups pumpkin puree
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbls pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup organic powdered sugar
Instructions
Pumpkin Bars
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Butter and flour a 9" x 13" baking pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the einkorn flour, baking powder, cinnamon, all spice, and baking soda; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the eggs, honey, butter, and pumpkin puree over low speed. A 3 on my KitchenAid.
  5. /4 cup at a time, add the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared 9" x 13" pan and bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese and butter. Mix together over medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla extract, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. Mix on low until mixed through then raise the speed to medium to cream together.
  3. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

I’m sure that once you try your hand at baking with einkorn or natural sweeteners, you’ll feel great serving your family some sweet treats every now and then.

So, what are your favorite sweet treats to eat during this time of year?

How to Make Glow in the Dark JELL-O

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Halloween is just around the corner and today we wanted to showcase a fun and easy craft you could do with your kids. Today’s recipe offering is how to make glow in the dark JELL-O in jars for a spooktacular Halloween dessert. Glow in the Dark JELL-O is a recipe that your kids can easily mix up and gives you a fun opportunity to talk a little bit about the science behind it in the process.

How Does it Glow?

Did you know that tonic water can glow under a black light? My kids were in awe of this bubbly drink and how it could glow under the black light.  The glowing comes from the fluorescence of the quinine in the tonic water. Quinine also gives tonic water a distinctive bitter flavor which is why it is best mixed with other sweeter ingredients. As you can see, the quinine glows blue-white when placed under a black light which makes it the perfect ingredient for a spooky JELL-O treat.

Do All Colors of JELL-O Glow the Same?

Hypothesis…yes. Answer…no! All of the colors of JELL-O will definitely not glow the same. We tested two colors (green and orange) and found brilliant results with the green JELL-O and dull results with the orange JELL-O. Although our tutorial below shows the orange, we recommend the green variety for a truly great glow!

So It Glows…How Does it Taste?

As we mentioned before, the quinine in the tonic water makes the tonic water glow, but it also yields a bitter taste. We tried to cut the bitterness by using half water and half tonic water. I also topped each jar of JELL-O with whipped cream and sprinkles which would add another layer of sweetness.

The kids loved the glow, but said they were, “spicy,” which is what they say about all sodas and bubbly drinks. If your kids have a sensitive palate like mine, they might not love them, but they still ate the whipped cream and loved doing the experiment. I still call this experiment a win for creativity, cool science factoids, and fun.

I had a great helper in the kitchen for this project. Emily was excited to show you all just how easy it is to make this JELL-O and you can find the recipe below along with her picture tutorial on how to recreate this fun experiment in your kitchen.

You can totally steal the experiment, but I am keeping my sous chef for myself!

 

3.0 from 2 reviews
Glow in the Dark JELL-O
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Glow in the dark JELL-O is not only a fun science project, but a super fun Halloween treat. Pick up a black light or black light bulb at your local Halloween shop to show off it's glow!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup tonic water
  • 1 package of JELL-O
  • Whipped Cream and Sprinkles for topping (optional)
  • Jars
  • Black Light
Instructions
  1. Bring one cup of water to a boil.
  2. Pour JELL-O packet into a large bowl.
  3. Have a grown-up help you add your boiling water.
  4. Stir for two minutes with a wire whisk.
  5. Have a grown-up pour one cup of tonic water into a measuring cup.
  6. Slowly whisk while adding the tonic water. The mixture will be very bubbly. Give it a couple of minutes to rest.
  7. Pour it into four clean jars.
  8. Place in the refrigerator for two to three hours to set.
  9. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles.
  10. Place under a black light and watch it glow. Happy Halloween!

This post contains an affiliate link.

Pin It

Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies

If there is one combination that I love, it is sweet and salty. These Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies are the perfect combination of sweet & salty that will be a hit no matter where you serve them. I will admit, on their own, sweets hold little power over me. Sweet treats with a kick of salt? Well, be still my beating heart!  This recipe for Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies is destined to be my recipe legacy that I pass on to my children. When I pass away, my tombstone should read… “Beloved wife and mother.  More beloved for her amazing brownies. Forever. And Ever. Amen.” Yes, these are legacy-making brownies, friends!

Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies

The key ingredients are really good chocolate and coarse salt. If you can’t find sea salt at your local market, kosher salt offers a great substitution. The rest of the ingredients involve all of the traditional brownie-making ingredients.

Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies

 

Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies

When you pull these delicious brownies out of the oven, the edges should be set (see above in this picture), but the center will still be a little bit soft and the toothpick will have a little batter on it. That is exactly what you want. Allow them to cool for one hour on the counter and then cover the top with a little plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour or even up to three days. You can then pull the foil and plastic wrap off and cut with a sharp knife into squares. For gift giving, you can package these sweet little treats in clear treat bags with a little ribbon from your craft supplies. I guarantee that anyone that receives these will feel all your love in them.  These are fabulous treats to give to your girlfriends, your teachers, your sister, your babysitter, or anyone else that could use a little TLC. Imagine what a sweet surprise these would be for someone who might not get all the adoration they are so deserving of. Be sure to make a batch for yourself too, after all, you deserve a little bit of chocolate adoration too!

Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
A deliciously rich combination of sweet and salty. These are legacy-making brownies and will make you famous. Seriously.
Ingredients
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-inch square metal cake pan with foil, draping the foil over the edges. Lightly butter the foil or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a mixing bowl begin whisking together the dry ingredients. In this bowl you will mix your dark cocoa, flour, and sugar. Once your dry ingredients are mixed together, we can begin incorporating the wet ingredients. Add your eggs and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix them in with a spatula or use your stand mixer to mix these. Once these are incorporated, you can slowly add in your cooled chocolate and then incorporate that into your batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
  5. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the batter. Using a butter knife, swirl the salt into the batter.
  6. Bake the brownies in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, until the edge is set but the center is still a bit soft and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out coated with a little of the batter.
  7. Let the brownies cool at room temperature in the pan for 1 hour, then refrigerate just until they are firm, about 1 hour.
  8. Lift the brownies from the pan and peel off the foil. Cut the brownies into 16 squares.
  9. Serve at room temperature.
  10. Side note: The salted fudge brownies can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, and frozen for up to 1 month.

Pin It